The good thing and the problem with the new Netflix movie All Together Now is its familiarity. It’s a movie that talks about hope from the eyes of a teenage girl named Amber who was a constant companion of tragedy. It isn’t actually trying to be far too preachy through the dialogues. But somewhere the portrayal of the struggle of Amber fails to have depth.
Amber Appleton is a teenager who does multiple jobs along with college to earn a living. She and her mother are homeless and they spend their nights inside a school bus. Amber and her mother Becky have a disagreement over Becky’s decision to move in with her partner Oliver. This conflict escalates rapidly and long story short, Amber ends up being a cynical individual. All Together Now is basically showing us how she bounced back from that emotional space.
As I said, All Together Now is very much a standard teen movie. You tackle the issue of structural familiarity in feel-good dramas by introducing conflicts that are peculiar. Here that isn’t there. Moana fame Auli’l Carvalho as Amber delivers an endearing performance and I think it was her charming performance that kept the movie in a comfortable space. The first act is long but the second and third acts of the movie are way too swift. When you have such a structure to a script that doesn’t have too much to offer, even feeling for the character becomes difficult.
Auli’l Cravalho as the leading lady Amber has that aura of a vibrant and optimistic teenager. And the shift of the character was also performed neatly by the actor. If you have ended up having an honest smile seeing that cheesy fundraiser towards the end of the film, it is largely because of the honesty in Cravalho’s performance. Rhenzy Feliz as Ty was a bit stale. Anthony Jacques Jr. as the nerdy best friend and Carol Burnett as Joan were the two memorable performances for me in the movie.
In the initial bits of the film, Britt Haley is unfolding the story gently keeping us curious about the characters in the movie. But the writing loses that interest to keep us invested towards the middle part of the movie and the story starts to get that routine motivational structure. You don’t really feel like rooting for Amber when she forcefully punishes herself. If they had invested a considerable amount of time in showing us the tough time through which Amber goes through, I feel the sentiments would have worked despite the whole thing being a cliché.
There was an immediate disconnect from All Together Now when the credits started rolling. Even though it is not at all a difficult one to sit through, the movie lacked the kind of charm it needed. It is that kind of an inconsequential movie which isn’t bad, but at the same time was never enough.
All Together Now is that kind of an inconsequential movie which isn’t bad, but at the same time was never enough.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended